Proposals for Land Expropriation Without Compensation

Wordle 343

Some Midlands farmland improved over the past couple of centuries. Grabbable for free?

Heap scorn, and make no wild attempt to cajole,
Such means of wolf practice are small in kind and role;
Close by, cause one to cringe at the sight —
Proponents, all, may be called a blight.

(Latest attempts by politicians in South Africa to play to the dimmer members of their constituencies and to create diversions away from their own incompetence and criminality are to promise to seize white-owned property and ‘restore’ it to black ownership. Legal, constitutional, practical and moral issues are conveniently being swept aside.)
© March 2018 Colon
Posted in Africa, political satire, Really Awful Rhyme, Rhyme, Wordle | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

Let There be a Searchlight

When not collecting kids from school or watching swimming training, I have spent most of the past couple of days in hunting for a charger for my Eurolux searchlight.  After several years without a charge, the few million candlepower beam is dimming to a few thousand, and that is not enough to pick out enemy bombers clearly enough for me to blast them.

Well, actually, bombers don’t happen much, but it is not enough to pinpoint and dazzle intruders or yard-hoppers or would-be invaders, or to search for concealed criminals when on patrol. I see that Durban is one of the world’s most liveable cities (89th on Mercer’s Quality of Living Survey, top in South Africa and African Mainland, and second in Africa). This depends, rather, on whether one enjoys being on the lookout for homicidal idiots on the road at all times, being on the alert for possible criminal activities at all times, and, just lately, keeping out of the way of insane weather.

Anyway, my search for the charger connection was finally successful and I will soon be able to select again between normal brighter-than-car-headlights, or the second level of sending a beam into space. When zapped with that, any unauthorised character wandering round here will certainly be too dazzled to see the missile I direct at him/her/it as a follow- up.

As a Hoot of a Tailpiece, here we have a myth dispelled by Rufus from my Tabika books, using a typical utterance.

© March 2018 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Cartoon inventions, Children's Fiction, Colonialist, Personal Journal | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

A Golden Opportunity …

… for experience, is what we regarded R’s entry into the Provincial Swimming Championships to be. No other gilty thoughts entered our heads.

We were duly thrilled when she acquitted herself well yesterday, but today we were over the moon when her freestyle relay team won gold. So, she brings home a gold medal from her first ever Provincial Gala!

She bettered her personal best time by quite a bit in the backstroke today, but only managed a close 4th. Nearly in the medals again for that, but not quite by a fraction of a second.

© March 2018 Colonialist 
Posted in Africa, Grandchildren, Personal Journal, Swimming | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

A Weekend that goes Swimmingly

We are all spending the entire weekend at Kings Park Swimming Pool next to the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban. Young R has been entered by her Seagulls Club for four races in the KwaZulu Natal Provincial Championships Gala. Here we have the start of her freestyle (black costume near the far side). She did creditably in that; although up against girls of 10, 11, 12 and 13 she managed, from what I could see, a 4th or a 5th. The results screen was out of commission for most of  the day so I can’t be sure

Her 100m breaststroke was not as good an effort as some she has put in, but she still did creditably particularly when one considers that some of her competition was as old as 14, and only 3 her own age. 

Tomorrow she will test her reversing skills in the backstroke, as well as being one of a freestyle relay team.

Next weekend we have a gala for J to look forward to – put off this weekend because of very soggy weather. Our pool got filled nicely, and I was even able to do a sweep and backwash.

© March 2018 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Colonialist, Grandchildren, Personal Journal, Swimming | Tagged , , | 10 Comments


At the end of April last year, I went boogie-boarding with the grandkids. I failed to report that when setting off back to the car, I noted that I had an empty Leatherman multitool sheath with me.  A frantic search of changeroom, sand and everywhere else, plus forlorn enquiries at the office, produced no result. 

As following these links will reveal, I have not only found this item incredibly useful, but it has a sentimental value as a gift from UK daughter and family at the end of the last century. A search of cars and everywhere I could think of at home led me to the sad conclusion that it was gone forever. Carrying one has become second nature to me, and I literally use it many times daily. Sadly, I set about buying a replacement, and managed to get hold of a Leatherman Wave on 21st May. This has a number of improved features like easy one-handed opening- and-closing of blades, scissors, and an extension arm for the screwdriver, but there were still aspects of the lost one that I have missed like the very sturdy eyeglass screwdriver. The tiny one on the Wave is a bit flimsy and I managed to break it, but I have ordered a replacement from Cape Town. 

Last week I was rummaging in our carport adjoining the garage with a view to emptying it for a much overdue job of weather-proofing when I came across a pile of general junk on the floor. Soggy papers and rusty bits of metal, mainly. But with all of these was my lost Leatherman!

  It looked a bit sorry for itself, but in a ridiculously short time of cleaning-up and oiling, it was back to looking like this: 

I am delighted to have it back, but for now it sits on my desk to be grabbed for inside jobs. Im not going to risk losing it again, so the Wave goes walkabout with me on my belt, and I am trying to get out of the habit of putting it down in between working with it, for it to fall to the ground, as must have happened in the carport.

 © March 2018 Colonialist.
Posted in DIY, Personal Journal | Tagged , , | 12 Comments


Six-year-old J granddaughter J is ridiculously fond of being in water and just lately has taken this passion to extremes. After finding herself in the Swimming Squad within days of starting ‘proper’ school, she has been taking lessons twice a week and swimming in Squad training sessions on the days in between. She was also picked to swim for her school in a recent friendly gala against Durban’s ‘top’ schools, where relays only were swum so it is hard to measure individual achievement. Her school didn’t shape too well. Still, the fact that she was chosen to represent her age group in the ladder relay on top of doing freestyle and breaststroke says something.

On the way home from this tiring gala it was mentioned jokingly that she would just have time to be dropped off at her lesson en route. To general consternation, she opted to have this done, and performed well in her swimming school session as well. She has been going from Squad to lessons quite happily, but this seemed a bit much! With all this solar exposure she is, in spite of liberal applications of suncream, becoming bronzed.

The Junior School’s Top Eight Gala was scheduled for the evening of 13th so it was assumed that no Squad training would happen for R or for J. Horrors — it transpired that it was happening for both. I had to rush R’s kit in. J already had hers from PT. So I watched the training, brought them home, went out to pick up a repaired mircrowave, and then it was back to school for the Gala.

In freestyle, the 3rd race of the day, J was pipped to a very close 3rd in spite of wrapping her goggles round her neck on the dive, and we were thrilled.

She was only entered in one other race, the breaststroke, and in that she bobbed her way furiously to a close 2nd! We were extra thrilled.




Our thrills overfloweth, though, when it came to medals and it transpired that those two places on points had given her an overall 3rd in her age group and thus a bronze medal!

© March 2018 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Grandchildren, Personal Journal, Swimming, Swimming Squad Training | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

A Sweet Story of Passion

Once again it is that time of the year when our yellow fruiting form of the granadilla or Passion Fruit, Passiflora edulis, with the name of Flavicarpa but known to us in South Africa as Guavadilla, starts producing to the joy of monkeys and humans alike. I have twice posted on the subject a year ago; no harm in repeating the message, though.

We have come to an arrangement with the monkeys. They eat most of the ones up on the vine where we often can’t reach them anyway, and we eat the ones they knock to the ground or those that fall by themselves. The fruit needs to fall to indicate that they are nearly ripe, anyway. One can’t rely on the condition of skin or degree of yellowness. Often ones perfectly ready for consumption still show a lot of green, while some glowing yellow ones are already spoiled. On the other hand, some wrinkly ones are still perfectly good.

The second gathering of 2018 has produced this batch, and having bought sweetened condensed milk in anticipation I proceeded to prepare them for our Sunday dessert.
That makes me break off for a diversion. koolkosherkitchen has introduced to bloggers a Miami Beach café/restaurant called Otentic which has a lovely slogan: ‘Stressed is desserts spelt backwards’. I would venture an improvement:

‘Stressed? For a cure, spell it backwards!’

Anyway, the procedure for this, my simplest and most heavenly dessert ever, is to start with simple bisection.


Next, a suitably pointy dessert spoon is used to remove the flesh and pips without, if possible, disturbing the pithy tendrils. When the process in done carefully, not a fragment of the edible part remains, but the tendrils are intact inside the skin.


Finally, all skins and innards will have been separated, and one is careful to bin the former and retain the latter and not the other way around.


Half the batch shown here, with a tin of condensed milk, produced a generous, decadent and delicious dessert for five, and there was enough of the mixture left to put in the fridge and keep for another serving of the same size. It keeps for weeks, if one can resist eating it for that long.

(P.S. In fact, we divided what was left into two and actually had enough for a third serving from those seventeen assorted guavadillas.)

© March 2018 Colonialist
Posted in Africa, Flora, Gardens, Personal Journal | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments